As cannabis legalisation discussions continue to ramp up around the world at a much faster pace than in Australia, maybe we should change the topic from legalising cannabis forever, to just trialling it for a few years and seeing how it affects our society.
We’ve already tried the prohibition method for the past century, and it’s done little to curb cannabis consumption, whilst doing a lot to move billions of Australian dollars into the hands of criminals every year. As someone (not Albert Einstein) once said – ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results‘. Surely our politicians aren’t insane…right?
Why don’t we at least give it a shot for a few years? There are plenty of local cannabis companies already producing a range of fantastic products for the medical industry, so it wouldn’t take long to set up and regulate a legal recreational market as well. And if we allow people to start growing their own, which we should, we could constrict the billions pouring into the black market in a matter of months.
Time and time again our leaders pick and choose which pieces of expert’s advice to listen to. And time and time again they simply don’t listen to them at all. We’re wasting billions of taxpayers dollars funding the war on cannabis, and likely many more millions on committees and inquiries that lead to no action being taken. Where is the sense in that?
Cannabis prohibition causes more harm than good.Inquiry into the use of cannabis in Victoria
Sure, cannabis consumption can potentially lead to mental health issues in a small minority of cases, but the projected $2 billion in taxes and excises a legal cannabis market would create would be more than enough to give these people the help they need, without labelling them as criminals. And yes, a regulated cannabis market will likely see more children being exposed to it, but it would see fewer children consuming it. Criminals don’t care who consumes their product, they just want the cash. Taking the product out of the hands of criminals and into the hands of a regulated market, allows much tighter restrictions to be placed on the industry, vastly reducing the availably to those underage.
We’re not saying that all underage cannabis consumption will disappear upon legalisation, as a black market is still likely to exist for a few years before the legal market matures, but it’s an enormously better solution than the system that’s currently in place.
And to those who say – ‘We already have alcohol and tobacco legalised, why should we add another potentially harmful substance?’ – firstly, alcohol and tobacco combined directly cost 30,000 Australians their lives every year, cannabis claims none. If those using tobacco or alcohol switched to cannabis, it could potentially save thousands of lives a year, not to mention the millions in healthcare. Secondly, we’ve tried prohibition for the past century, yet cannabis consumption is at all-time highs. People are going to consume it whether the government says they can or can’t. It’s not going away with wishful thinking and laughable propaganda.
If you’re reading this and you still believe cannabis should be kept in prohibition, please leave a comment with your reasoning. We’d love to hear your thoughts on why it should remain illegal.